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 Baltic Air Policing Šiauliai (Lithuania) 2007
In memoriam
Laurenţiu KIRU Chiriţă * 1970 † 2010

On August 1, 2007 four Romanian LanceR C of Baza 71 Aeriana in Cāmpia Turzii undertook task of Baltic Air Policing at Zokniai Air Base (Šiauliai) in Lithuania. On August 21 the author was on site to get a picture of the first Romanian combat mission abroad since World War II.

Waiting in a tent. MiG-21 LanceR C, armed with two Matra Magic 2.


Ready to go. Aircraft technician signalizes the pilot completion of start procedure.


Commander's aircraft taxies to take off.


QRA pair lines up side-by-side on the runway and takes off with short distance. .


Return from a successful mission.


Commander's aircraft is sporting a special marking commemorating the 25th anniversary of Baza 71 Aeriana and its predecessors featuring the new insignia of the unit with seven towers symbolizing the units home region Transylvania.


Detachment commander Căpitan Comandor Laurenţiu Chiriţă (second from right) discusses the recent mission with his pilots and chief engineer Căpitan Comandor Lian Someşan (left)..


Preparation for the next mission. The pre-fight check of a MiG-21 including refueling takes about half an hour.


On the day of the visit the Romanian detachment undertook two Tango (training) scrambles - one by day and one by night as seen here.


Back from night flight.


Look over the QRA area at Šiauliai. The tents accommodating the four aircraft give them shelter against rain and sun. Built by the Royal Air Force in winter 2004 / 2005 they can be heated should the need arise.


Author thanks Lieutenant Colonels Liliana Tanase, Laurenţiu Chiriţă and Lian Someşan, Major Gelu Miron, First Lieutenant Agne Balciauskyte, Second Lieutenant Ieva Kuzminaite and all Romanian and Lithuanian officials who made the visit possible.